tv FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX January 9, 2011 9:00am-10:00am PST
t.j.maxx. let us make a maxxinista out of you! >> bret: this was the scene saturday morning at a grocery store in tucson, arizona, where a gunman shot congresswoman gabrielle giffords in a small crowd of constituents, killing six and wounding 12 others. i'm bret baier in for chris wallace. and this is "fox news sunday." while we're following the major developing story out west, here in washington authorities were already on edge over several incendiary devices found in the mail at the end of the week, and security was already tighter after increased chatter from terrorist groups overseas. now this. here is the latest from
arizona. congresswoman giffords is in critical condition after a bullet passed through her head. arizona's chief federal judge john roll, one of giffords' arizona staff members, and a 9-year-old girl are among the dead. one suspect identified by authorities as 22-year-old jared loughner was arrested, and a second man is being sought. for more on this story, we turn now to carl cameron on capitol hill, and trace gallagher in tucson. trace? >> reporter: good morning, bret. we're outside the university medical center, where gabrielle giffords, the congresswoman, remains in the intensive care unit. she is in critical condition, but doctors are still very optimistic about her survival. the bullet, as you said, passed through her head, but it did strike part of her brain. even though she is responding to commands, medical experts say that does not rule out the possibility of long-term damage. we have also learned that gabrielle giffords was the intended target of this attack. in all, 19 people were shot.
six of them killed. including federal judge john roll, who we just learned attended this event and decided to attend it just an hour before it started. a 9-year-old girl, christina green, was also killed. she was brought to the event by her neighbor. 13 others wounded. here is a witness who describes what he heard and saw. listen. >> i didn't think he was a gunman, the way he shoot with the consistency, the fire, and the accuracy of the lethality, he got the head shots in. he had been to the range a few times. i would say this was a planned event. >> reporter: we are also getting a lot more information about the suspect, 22-year-old jared loughner. he is now being held by the f.b.i. pima county sheriff says he has a troubled past. we have learned that he dropped out of high school, that he was kicked out of a community college and told he could not come back without a
mental evaluation. we have said many times he posted these anti-government rants on the internet. and now he is being investigated for possible ties to a group called american renaissance. that apparently is an anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-semitic group. gabrielle giffords is jewish. and there is information now about a potential second suspect, a person of interest who may have been in the safeway with jared loughner before the shooting happened. police now looking for a man in his 40s to 50s, a white male with dark hair, who was last seen wearing blue jeans and a dark jacket. and jared loughner, by the way, today, bret, will be arraigned 11:00 here in tucson. bret? >> bret: trace gallagher reporting from tucson. thank you. for reaction from washington, we turn now to fox news chief political correspondent, carl cameron on capitol hill. carl? >> reporter: hi, bret. within hours of this unprecedented attack on a member of congress, gabrielle
giffords, and others, at a very public political forum, president obama addressed the nation. >> she is currently in a hospital in the area. and she is battling for her life. we also know that at least five people lost their lives in this tragedy. among them were a federal judge john roll who has served america's legal system for almost 40 years, and a young girl who was barely 9 years old. >> reporter: almost immediately, the president ordered f.b.i. director bob muler to tucson to head up a massive national investigation. he contracted arizona governor jan brewer and the republican and democratic congressional leadership. >> our prayers and thoughts are with all of them, all of their families. congresswoman giffords is a great patriotic american, representative of the congress of a new generation of leaders. >> reporter: giffords has a reputation as a centrist
democrat. she was one of 19 house democrs who actually voted against nancy pelosi as speaker just last week. she is a pro-second amendment gun owner. she gave her last interview to fox news just friday before the attack. >> you know, actually, as a former republican, you know, i consider myself someone who is pretty in the middle, and a blue dog democrat, and one that is in making sure that our country maintains our prosperity. and frankly, our superiority over other countries. >> bret: the new house speaker john boehner issued a statement saying in part an attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. and president obama noted that the horror of this attack took place at that most american of political forums: the town hall style meeting. >> gabby was doing what she always does, listening to the hopes, and concerns of her neighbors. that is the essence of what our democracy is all about.
that is why this is more than a tragedy for those involved. >> reporter: and just moments ago from westchester township, ohio, house speaker john boehner had this to say. >> this inhuman act should not and will not deter us from our calling to represent our constituents and to fulfill our oaths of office. no act, no matter how heinous must be allowed to stop us from our duty. >> reporter: house republicans have decided to postpone this week's planned vote to repeal the healthcare law. there is a conference call planned this afternoon for house democrats and republicans and their spouses to talk about this. the sergeant at arms and the capitol police are urging all members of the capitol community to be ever-vigilant in their own security. somebody members are calling for security increases for members of congress. debate is underway in full. bret? >> bret: carl cameron reporting from capitol hill.
thank you. so what is next? for answers we turn to two congressional leaders. democratic congressman james clyburn who come to us from south carolina. and republican cathy mcmorris rogers, who is with us here. thank you both for being here. your reaction first to this shooting, and what it means potentially for washington? representative mcmorris rogers, we'll start with you. >> it's a terrible tragedy. like everyone, i was shocked when i heard the news. it's still hard for me to get my arms around what has happened in arizona with congresswoman gabrielle giffords doing what we all do on a regular basis. go home to our districts, meet with the people that we represent. it is such an important part of the process of being a representative in congress. and my heart goes out to her and her family, as well as all of the other victims. and america is standing behind them. and ready to do whatever we can to be helpful to them. >> bret: and federal judge, john roll lost his life in this. >> yes.
and just stopped by to say high to gabrielle. it's a tragedy on a number of fronts. a 9-year-old girl who had just been elected in her student council and wanted to meet an elected official. it's shocking to all of us. and we're all just trying to get our arms around this and we know the best way the respond. >> congressman clyburn? >> well, thank you so much for having me. first of all, i would hope that all of us would follow the advice of president obama, and use this day to pray for those victims, pray for those who are trying to recover. and keep gabby in our thoughts and prayers. gabby is a good friend. i met her back in 2006. i spent two days campaigning with her. we have worked very closely together on legislation
involving nasa. as you know, her husband and his twin brother are astronauts. and, of course, i represent the district that the nasa administrator charles bogan grew up in. and so, we have been working very closely together on the nasa legislation. as you know, we are having real funding problems with nasa. and so i've gotten know her very, very well. and to see something like this happen, to such a conscientious, outgoing, passionate legislator causes me great pause. but we are living in a time that all of us should begin to take stock how our words affect people, especially those who aren't very stable. >> bret: some of your colleagues, congressman clyburn, are already speaking out, expressing concern about security for members of congress. representative grihalva from
arizona, democrat calling on congress to beef up individual security for all members. republican jason chavitz from utah say lawmakers and aides work in the most wildly held terrorist target in the world. he said he is concerned about his family at home. representative maxine waters from california said about lawmakers, "we're vulnerable and there is no real way to protect us." is there a need to provide better safety and security for all members of congress? congressman, first. >> well, i think so. i have, i really feel strongly that we ought to take a look at our accounts and whether than cut, cut, cut, we ought to look at whether or not we may need to beef up the funding for individual accounts so that congress people can work with the state and local law enforcement officers. i want to thank the law enforcement division in south carolina for reaching out to
me and my family yesterday, and the mayor of columbia, mayor benjamin called last night. i noticed in my neighborhood and in front of my house there was additional security. but i do believe that they can supplement, they cannot substitute. i think we need to take a hard look at even how members go through airports. i really believe that that is the place where we feel the most ill-at ease is going through airports. t.s.a. i think need to begin to interact with our capitol hill police a little better. we have had some incidents where t.s.a. authorities think that congress people should be treated like everybody else. the fact of the matter is we're held to a higher standard in so many other areas. i think we need to take a hard look at exactly how the t.s.a. interact with members
of congress. >> bret: i guess the are you for increasing security, congresswoman? and will this one tragic event change how elected officials interact with their constituents? >> we need to make sure we are smart and we respond appropriately to this incident. i am concerned about putting up more walls between myself and the people that i represent. i make it a priority to respond to the e-mails, to the telephone calls, have the town hall meetings, because it's fundamental to our representative government that people feel like they can interact with us and their voices are heard throughout the process. and so, i want to make sure that we are look at it and that we're making an appropriate response, that we as members are being smart in our interactions. the capitol police do a great job of -- >> bret: are you worried about your security? >> i feel that the capitol police do a great job of warning us, of helping us and
our staff be smart when we're out in the district. there has been different times when they might advise us to take certain steps. i'm going to lean on them to continue to advise us. >> bret: congresswoman, you are in the republican leadership. last night, house majority leader cantor put out a statement saying, "all legislation currently scheduled to be considered by the house of representatives next week is being postponed so that we can take whatever actions may be necessary in light of the tragedy." of course, the house was scheduled to vote on the repeal of the healthcare law on wednesday. what was behind this decision? >> well, in light of yesterday's tragedy, our focus has changed. the focus of congress, as well as the focus of millions of americans all across this country. we're focussed on what happened in arizona. and we need to make sure that we are responding appropriately to that tragedy before we get involved in the legislative business of congress. >> bret: well, how would you respond to somebody who might say well, that means the bad
guys won? the wackos won. by this one violent incident they have been able to change the legislative agenda for the 112th congress? >> we are just taking some more time. the repeal of healthcare is a top priority for the new majority in congress. we believe that that bill needs to be repealed and replaced with a much better approach to ensuring that we have quality and affordable healthcare in this country. that continues to be a high priority for the house republicans and the new majority. where we're just going to wait and make sure we're responding appropriately to the current situation. >> bret: is it because some of the threats previously have been tied or centered around healthcare? >> i think it's just that we need some more time to make sure that congress is focussed on what happened yesterday, rather than -- you know, i think all of our thoughts and our minds are elsewhere right now. we just need to have some more time. >> bret: congressman clyburn, what, if anything, does this attack say about the
political discourse in the u.s.? >> i think it says a lot. i think the mayor -- sorry, the sheriff out there in tucson, i think he has got it right. words do have consequences. and i think that we have to really -- this is nothing new. i've been saying this for a long time now. we are getting ready to celebrate this weekend the birthday of martin luther king junior who admonished us that we are going to regret in this generation not just for the vitriolic words and deeds of bad people, but for the appalling silence of good people. and i think that what has happened here is that the vitriol has gotten so elevated, until people feel emboldened by this. and people are a little less than stable and people who aren't thinking for themselves or so easily influenced, they go out and
do things that all of us pay a great price for. i want to applaud the republican leadership for doing what they've done in this instance to give everybody a chance to step back and take a hard look at this and decide how we go forward. >> bret: congressman, as you know -- sorry. as you know, tea party groups vigorously condemned this attack. calling it heinous. this is from justin phillips, the co-founder of one of the groups tea party nation. "at a time like this, it is terrible that we do have to think about politics, but no matter what the shooter's motivations were, the left is going to blame this on the tea party movement. while we need to take a moment to extented our sympathies to the families of those who died, we cannot allow the hard left to do what it tried to do in 1995 after the oklahoma city bombing. within the entire political spectrum, there are extremists, both on the left and the right.
violence of this nature should be decried by everyone and not used for political gain." how do you respond to that, sir? >> well, i will say this to the gentleman, that wrote that. the fact of the matter is we just came out of an election. we saw a candidate for the united states senate saying that if you can't get what you want at the ballot box, let's seek second amendment remedies. what does that mean? that is a very vitriolic statement, and i think that somebody is responsible for speaking up, denouncing that kind of stuff. if you don't denounce it, people keep ratcheting it up and people get to a point where you cross the line. and i think that in this instance, this issue has crossed the line. and i believe that those of us who are in responsible positions owe it to the country, and owe it to ourselves, owe it to this great institution that we call the united states congress to speak out against
this kind of rhetoric, because if we don't it will keep ratcheting up, up, and up. and before you know it, as martin luther king junior admonished us, the people of ill-will will have won the debate. >> bret: representative rogers? >> without a doubt, the political rhetoric has increased across the board. inflammatory remarks. and republicans, democrats, liberals, conservatives, tea party activists have all condemned what happened in arizona. and i think it's important to remember that this was, this was an individual 22 years old. he dropped out of high school. as far as we know, he is not tied to political movement. this wasn't a politically motivated act. you know, his favorite books are "communist manifesto" and "mein kampf." and i just, i think it's important that we recognize that this is an individual that had, that has mental challenges, and is -- and we
need to act appropriately in dealing with him and making sure that justice prevails here. >> bret: and the investigation continues. congresswoman rogers, congressman clyburn, thank you both for talking with us today on this stuff day. >> thank you so much for having me. >> bret: more on this later with our panel. also up next, with two new senators. we'll be right back. [ male announcer how can rice production in india affect wheat output in the u.s., the shipping industry in norway, and the rubber industry in south america? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses, and other information to read and consider carefully before investing.
>> bret: joining us now, two new members of the u.s. senate. rand paul, republican from kentucky joins us from there. and democrat chris coons come to us from his home state of delaware. senators, welcome to "fox news sunday." >> good morning. >> thanks, bret. >> bret: thanks for being with us. i'll ask you the same questions i asked representative clyburn and rogers to start off here about the tragedy in arizona. does the shooting say anything about the political discourse in the u.s.? and does it change anything in washington? senator paul, first to you. >> well, i think most importantly in the initial stages here, we need to emphasize the humanity and the tragedy of this whole thing. you know, we're people like anybody else. respe representative giffords has a family and children. that's most important that we talk about the tragedy and how awful it is. before we take a step beyond that, once you do take a step beyond that, i looked at some of the writings of this young
man. from a medical point of view, there is a lot to suggest paranoid schizophrenia, that this man was a really sick individual. and absolutely we need to condemn the violence. and absolutely we need to have our prayers and our thoughts with those who suffered from this violence. >> bret: senator coons? >> well, annie and i have been praying for gabby and the families and all the victims of yesterday's attack in tucson. this kind of senseless violence is never appropriate in our country. least of all when it's directed at somebody like congresswoman giffords who is a caring and energetic and engaged committed public servant who was working hard to improve the lives of her constituents. we spent much of yesterday afternoon in horror watching as this all unfolded. i think as senator paul says, all of us need to be mindful of the fact this was the act of a deranged individual. we need to be more cautious and concerned about our security, but we also need to be rededicated to the work of trying to serve our constituents, of remaining
active and engaged in the institution of the congress. and moving ahead to tackle the very real challenges ahead of us. since i first gabby, a decade ago, she impressed me with someone who was a tireless and dedicated public servant. i hope we move forward in a positive way, move beyond rhetoric of the campaign and move ahead to channels that lie ahead -- challenges that lie ahead of us. >> bret: do you think will reignite efforts by gun control advocates to push for revision in gun laws? >> i think we need to responsibly enforce the existing gun laws that place barriers for those who are mentally unstable to gun ownership or gun use. i think frankly, we need to move forward toward the biggest challenges in front of us, makinsure we get americans back to work. tackling the deficit and the debt. dealing with the conflict in afghanistan. there are big challenges in front of us, and i think that's what congress needs to be focussed on. >> bret: senator paul, arizona is one of three states where you can carry a
concealed weapon without a permit. alaska and vermont are the other two. is that at all in jeopardy, do you think? >> no, i don't think so. interestingly, representative giffords was a defender of the second amendment and is a defender of the second amendment. i have don't think it plays in to this at all. really, i think they are unrelated. it's probably about a sick individual and what should have been done for that person. but the weapons don't kill people, it's the individual that killed these people. >> bret: this is obviously on the minds of all of the members of congress. and as we heard, the house is delaying its action on healthcare. but there are a lot of legislative things to talk about coming up very soon. there has ban lot of talk about the -- been a lot of talk about the upcoming vote to raise the federal debt ceiling. as you can see by this chart congress has done it many times before. but treasury secretary tim geithner said thursday that the country's current debt limit, you see it here. $14.29 trillion could be
reached as early as march 31. question to both of you. do you know specifically what will happen if the debt creeling is not raised in in specific. senator paul first. >> well, i can't imagine voting to raise the debt ceiling unless we're going to change our ways in washington. i propose we link raising the debt ceiling, link a budget rule, ironclad rule they can't evade. they have shown themselves to be untrustworthy. you're right, they raise it every six months or every year and then they never change anything. even if we attach token spending cuts to it, that's not enough. we have to change the rules and we have to say to washington balance the budget. you have to do it by law. and then i'll vote to raise the debt ceiling. but only if we have an ironclad balanced budget rule that we attach to the debt ceiling. >> bret: but senator paul, we heard the administration, austan goolsbee, treasury secretary geithner's letter about what potentially could happen to the economy in a default.
do you have any sense of what could happen if this vote fails? >> well, it's interesting. the president's advisors are saying this. but in 2006, then senator obama voted against raising the debt ceiling and said it would be irresponsible to raise the debt ceiling, that it was a failure of our leadership to control the debt. it's a little disingenuous now to say the sky is falling, you absolutely have to do it. it's an either/or fallacy. they say either you raise it and the sky will fall and the end of the economy will happen. what about an in-between solution? what about we spend what we take in? we bring in $200 billion a month. couldn't we just spend what we have instead of saying oh, we have to shut down government? we could still spend $200 billion a month or over $2 trillion a year without raising the debt ceiling. they don't tell you there is an alternative. >> bret: senator coons, your response to that? >> bret, this is a
fundamentally different issue of the possibility of shutting down government. back in '95, the new speaker of the house newt gingrich and then president clinton got in a big contest about federal spending and ultimately shut down the government for a brief period of time. while that was disruptive and difficult and led to a path forward on budget resolution, the faulting of the american debt is a fundamentally different thing. and i believe secretary geithner and the letter he sent to all of us as members of congress, raising the alarm that the potential consequences of a failure to meet america's legal obligations, to fail to raise the debt creeling in the short-term has dramatically negative consequences. we don't want to be counted among the countries that fail to meet their obligations like greece or spain and have to be bailed out by other countries around the world. we have to make progress in reducing spending and tackling the deficit. but it took a long time to get in this problem and it will take work to get out of it. >> bret: senator coons, you said in an interview two
months ago. quoting here. "in order for me to be comfortable voting to raise the debt ceiling, i need to see we're making progress and tackling the deficit and the debt." senator, are you prepared to block the increase of the debt ceiling if it's not paired with real deficit reductions? realcuts? >> i'm going to be looking for to us begin the path toward spending reduction, to making sure that we're serious about tackling our tax system and beginning tax reform. i frankly have some real concerns about the bipartisan compromise tax package that we ultimately passed at the end of the lame duck session. as i listen to advice from economists, folks from the administration, more senior members of the senate, i was convinced in this economy, as we're really just beginning a recovery, we needed to extend tax relief and we needed to put together and pass the package that the last congress did in which i served. i do think moving forward, we shouldn't play a political game of chicken with raising the debt ceiling.
the consequences are too great. but i am going to be working hard with others in my caucus and across the aisle to begin the process of putting together responsible spending cuts and movement toward reducing america's debt. >> bret: senator paul, this is what senate majority leader harry reid said this week about the tea party. "the tea party was born because of the economy. the economy is probably the worst it's ever been except for maybe the great depression. the tea party will disappear as soon as the economy gets better, and the economy is getting better all the time." your reaction to that? >> well, as someone who came from the tea party, i can tell you that the tea party is a staying force. it's a force that is critical of both republicans and democrats. and wants them to do something about the deficit. you know, they say they're worried about what will happen if we don't raise the debt ceiling. we are worried about $14 trillion deficit. we're worried that it's unsustainable and threatens the foundation of our economy. i don't think it will betipering at the edges here.
we have to have -- i don't think it will be tinkering at the edges. we have to force washington to balance the budget and we need to link it to the debt ceiling because strategically it will allow us to get reforms that we need, because the votes will be there to raise the debt ceiling. but let's make sure that if they raise the debt ceiling, they fix some of the budgetary problems we have. >> bret: senator coons, last question for you. you were critical of wall street's business practices in your campaign. you called wall street banks reckless, saying wall street greed damaged american families. in light of all that, what do you make of president obama's choice of bill daley, j.p. morgan chase executive as his new chief of staff? and gene sperling, goldman sachs consultant as his chief economic advisor? >> as i have gone up and down the state of delaware as a senator, i've had the opportunity to meet with business leaders, with those who own and run small businesses and with large business leaders. folks with the farming community and seniors and
veterans and i hear same concern over and over. they want us to focus in congress on getting the economy back to work on creating high wage jobs. if the administration is making a change in leadership that brings in to leadership folks with more experience in the private sector who have got more ability to work across the aisle, that's a choice the president is making. i do think -- >> bret: despite the fact that you -- >> -- positive relationship with the private sector. >> bret: yeah. despite the things you said in the campaign about those banks what happens that the gentlemen worked for, you think they're going to be -- >> but let's be clear. i wasn't saying in the campaign that bankers are bad people. i'm just saying that there was reckless and irresponsible behavior. part of that was because of a lack of appropriate oversight and regulation. part of it was because w pulled out some of the critical circuit breakers that were put in place after the depression. it was a bipartisan effort. and it took a long time for us to build to the place where wall street and then ultimately our economy failed. but we are making real progress coming out of this
recession. we are beginning to recover. the president will make whatever choices he will of leadership. i think bill daley has someone with a lot of experience as a senior level, as the private and the public sector. i look forward to working with him. as we tackle the tough challenges in front of us. >> bret: senators, thank you both for being with us and rolling with the punches with us today on a tough day here in washington. >> thank you, bret. >> bret: coming up, the sunday panel is here. and we'll talk about the shooting in arizona and what it means in washington after the break. host: could switching to geico really save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance? do woodchucks chuck wood? (high-pitched laughter) man: hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood! vo: geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
>> bret: taking a look live at the capitol, the flags flying at half staff, in honor of one of the staff members of gabrielle giffords who was killed in the shooting. of course, federal judge also died. and four others. about this shooting, it's time for our sunday group. brit hume, fox news, senior political analyst. mara liasson of national public radio. bill kristol of "the weekly standard." and fox news political analyst, juan williams. brit, your thoughts on the shooting and the fall-out? >> horrible thing. disturbing, even a little depressing. you hear the prescriptions now beginning to be suggested how we might address this. better security for congressional members. i suppose that would help. you're hearing, you know, remarks about the nature of american discourse. it's way too early to know what effect american discourse of any kind had on someone who appears from all
accounts to be quite deranged. we have an open society where the public officials mingle openly and pretty freely with their constituents. and others. and i think this is part of the risk of democracy. it doesn't, it's a remarkable thing when you see how exposed members of congress and other officials are on the public, that there isn't more of this sort of thing. this is a case where as it happens every now and then in america, somebody goes on a shooting, murderous shooting rampage. that is what appeared to have happened here. >> bret: it's too early to talk about political discourse, but people are already -- >> it doesn't mean they're not doing it. it is too early to talk about the connection to politics, but he had rambleables and
he -- ramblings and the suspect had views on the extreme left and the extreme right. in his brain it's where those two meet. >> bret: circles. >> there is blame being thrown around. the conversation whether political discourse in this country has gone too far in some cases is a good one to have. it doesn't mean it's the cause of what happened in arizona. but i think it would be better for political discourse if people didn't call each other fascists and socialists and nazis and hitler. and if gun sites weren't put on people's districts. that would be better. whether it would have prevented anything that happened yesterday is not clear. >> bret: bill? >> well, as brit said, it is disturbing and depressing. and i guess one has to focus on the victims, obviously, has one should. they're in our prayers, and obviously on the killer, who is a deranged personment it's worth noting in this case as in other american tragedies, there is also acts of heroism.
it's worth saying that, because in a country of millions of people there will be deranged killers and there will be people who rise to the occasion. 20-year-old intern, daniel hernandez who worked in the office of gabrielle giffords was manning the event, working the table where people were checking in when the shots rang out. he ran over to her. helped other people, actually attended to other victims. i guess he knew something about emergency medical care and attended to congresswoman giffords, staunched the bleeding enough that he apparently, the doctors say he saved her life, accompanied her to the hospital. this is a 20-year-old kid who showed incredible poise and courage. >> bret: you hear, juan, about the 9-year-old girl brought to the event by a neighbor, because she was at the student council. just elected. >> to learn about how government works. >> bret: your thoughts on the whole thing? >> well, obviously, as everyone has said, this is a horrific event. the kind of thing that chills you and makes you worry about a free and open government. of course, our government relies on the idea that you
can speak to your elective leaders and tell them what you think. but it doesn't mean that you should be free to attack people. now to get to the quick summation that people are rushing to here, and i think it's important to say this as someone elects, you can't just blame this on some kind of right wing rhetoric. clearly, this kid was unstable. now there are connections between him and this group, american renaissance, i believe they're called. they're strongly anti-immigrant, anti-semitic and anti-government. so there is a temptation to say this is the result of right wing attacks. but you know, my sense is let's wait a second. and let's make sure about any kind of connections. if you go back to '95 and the oklahoma city bombing, there were people who said it was actually to the benefit of democrats at that time and helped the country to become more supportive of president clinton when he attacked the right wing for their kind of vitriol at that time. i hope people aren't so base on the make in a political
debate at this moment. i have worries about arizona. i think the sheriff down there said it yesterday when he said there is too much of this kind of anti-immigrant fervor going on in arizona. some people call it the new birmingham, because of the intolerance demonstrated in much of the state. i think people in arizona have to stop for a second and think about exactly why they are so angry, and why this happened in arizona. >> bret: what is next here, brit? president obama obviously sent his f.b.i. director robert mulal mueller there, and met with the national security team. we saw pictures of that yesterday and we saw him calling all of these officials. what is next? how do you think this administration handles this going forward? >> obviously, he has the f.b.i. out there, places that certain extraordinary priority on the investigation and on the case. but in the days ahead we'll learn more about exactly the chain of events that happened and exactly what the course of this young man's life was
that led him to this hideous day. and no doubt that there will be a wave of attempts to blame this on the character, the national discourse, the political atmosphere in arizona. the sheriff popping off, that what juan said was well said yesterday, i thought was extremely premature and unwise to say that. it's obviously that somebody has more than one screw loose does something as insane as this and violent and brutal, that attributing it to any coherent political philosophy is a stretch and we'd do well not to go there. >> but, brit, wouldn't you say, in this fact in the era of obama, a lot of things said about politicians, especially in the course of the healthcare discussion and shouting at the congress, don't you think that things have become more angry in our times? wouldn't that be fair to say? that's why i think there are some, while i agree with you, have a base instinct to make
political hay out of this. >> i think people are trying to make political hay out of it, but not perhaps the way you suggest. all of these things we're beginning to hear now, pinning responsibility on right wing radio show host and others were the same things we heard back at the time of the timothy mcveigh, the oklahoma city bombing. we heard all of this before. we've been through this cycle before. that didn't lead anywhere. >> you don't think things are higher in terms of the tenor of this moment? >> on the lunatic fringe, they're always high and obviously were high in this case. >> decision by the house republican leadership the put off the repeal vote on wednesday, as a result of this tragedy? i asked the congresswoman about that, you know, shifting the schedule. >> well, they're putting off all the votes and the business of the house for a week. i suppose it's reasonable thing -- it's probably a reasonable thing to do in light of the shock of this and a congresswoman being critically wounded and her
staff member being killed. i wouldn't second guess it. they'll have to get back to work. obviously, people will have to vote the way they think is right for the country. i don't think this will end up having honestly much political effect. it assumes that the voters are really, the voters have their view about what the healthcare system should be, whether we should fight the war in afghanistan or not. i don't think they will change their mind because of one terrible attack by a deranged young man on a congresswoman won't affect things one way or the other. >> i do think it will make people think twice before they use certain metaphors in politics. like fascist, socialist, nazis. i think this will have a cautionary and positive effect. >> wait, wait -- let me make a distinction. if you want to call someone a "fascist," this is one thing. it's over the top. fascism is not broad in the land. nazis, similarly. if you want to argue someone is a socialist, there are
people on capitol hill who are declared socialist, mara. there is nothing wrong -- >> okay, but the kind of things we defend our country using military means against, some people would defend our country against communism, socialism with the military. >> bret: does this change how lawmakers interact with their constituents? does the security change? does the dynamic change because of this incident? >> yesterday, i had a conversation by coincidence with a congresswoman in a mall. she said of course she won't be exposed this way and she wants more security. i imagine she's not singular with her views. i heard your guests and they're putting more money to be secured. this is not a good thing in terms of diminishing the amount of contact -- bill is shaking his head. he agrees. you have to be able to talk to your congressman and say i disagree so. that we'll leave it there. panel, we have to take a break here. we'll be right back. copd makes it hard to breathe
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that was the scene wednesday when john boehner became speaker of the house. we're back with the panel now. the 112th session of congress is underway. brit, how are they doing? >> the republicans got off to a reasonable good start. boehner gave a good start, managed to hold the tears back while he was talking so the reputation as the lackluster senior official may have
[brief technical difficult >> bret: it is just that. they'll still do it. then they have a series of spending cuts provisions that will be unveiled in coming days. >> i agree they were off to a fairly good start. there were glitches. two guys who didn't show up for oath of office. big lavish fundraisers that seemed to strike some people in the tea party in particular as wrong. and ill-advised. plus now they've got two big substantive problems. they have to find the $100 billion of spending cuts that you mentioned, which is harder than you thought.
they're already talking about scaling that number back. then the repeal of healthcare, which will go forward, even if it's delayed by a week or two. the problem is they seem like they want to rush it through, get it over with and send it to oblivion in the senate. there are no hearings. they haven't come up with a replacement bill. they always promise to repeal and replace. we don't know what they'd replace it with. it seems like they want to quickly and profuctorily kick it off for the tea party constituents. if they're serious, they have to go through the process of replacing the bill with something to show what they are for. >> bret: the biggest news of the week was the shift at the white house, with bill daley, former commerce secretary from the clinton administration announced as the new chief of staff. that brought some howling from the left. >> that was good to see. i met bill daley when he was brought to washington from bill clinton. he was a special aide for the free trade agreement through
the congress and he did with a majority of republican votes. most democrats were against it. the republican organization at the time. i was for nafta and i met bill daley then. so as president obama's chief of staff, he wants to shepard more free trade and pro-business measures for congress. gene sperling has now become the senior economic advisor, a moderate democrat. everyone i know in washington who worked in the clinton administration is sitting by their phone. they were deeply wounded they were -- where is my phone call, you know? so that is oppressing to the ones who weren't called. but bill daley was secretary of commerce in clintos second term. i know he has talked to business leaders to say we want jobs and we want to get the economy going. what can we do? he has been told that taxes are up for next few years and one test of whether he is making a difference there is whether he reins in the agencies, especially the
environmental protection agency, which are heaping huge burdens on businesses. >> bret: how much does this tell us about the administration and the president and the re-election effort? >> it says a lot. that is the cause of all the ire on the left is that the thought is that he is making friends with wall street in particular, in order to bulk up his re-election treasury. and that those are folks that he feels are necessary to reassure even as we are in a situation where much of america and certainly the left remains in frustration of wall street, with the fact that the big corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars in terms of capital. not investing it in jobs and in the american economy. why make friends and play footsy with big business? bill daley is big business. that's why the chamber of commerce, which has been after the obama administration on so many fronts is hailing bill daley. that's why, you know, it's a surprise all of a sudden you see people on the right and
congress. they say, oh, we love bill daley. it's people that were at obama's base going what is going on here? it's obvious it has to do with campaigning. >> the saying in washington is personnel is policy. in some cases that's true. it remains very much to be seen, however, whether that will prove true in this case, whether the advent of daley and gene sperling and others perhaps will harold a seriously different policy direction. my sense is it probably will on some counts. i expect the president to fight until the last dog dies, as bill clinton used to say, to protect the healthcare reform bill, which is a major bone of contention. but i do think on trade, possibly on tax reform, perhaps other issues, and maybe gentler regulatory hand would do two things, one calm the fevers on capitol hill and i think it would help the president re-election effort.
capitol hill this week when house members, one after another read aloud the constitution. when her turn came, congresswoman gabrielle giffords read the first amendment. here it is. >> congress shall make no law respecting establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for redress of grievances. >> bret: reading the first amendment. in a different context today. that's it for us. continuing coverage on fox news channel. i'll see you monday, 6:00 p.m. eastern time with "special report." chris wallace returns on the "special report." chris wallace returns on the next "fox news sunday." captioned by closed captioning services, inc